2010 Château Laforge (Saint Emilion Grand Cru)
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $39.94 (reg. $49.94)
Who says that fine wines must come from single vineyards? Certainly not Jonathan Maltus. Though he is capable of producing 100-point single vineyard beauties, he is also a champion of multi-parcel blends. Few proprietors know the Saint Emilion terroir better than the Englishman - only the Vauthier family of Ausone fame owns more land under vine here. Who better, then, to handcraft a blended wine expressing not one but three distinct vineyard types?
That’s exactly what he did. We’ve got his 94-point Robert Parker result, the “sensational” 2010 Château Laforge – at the lowest price in the US. It may not come from one single site, but it’s Saint Emilion through and through.
Maltus, for the uninitiated, has been on the Saint Emilion scene for little more than 20 years. In that time, he has certainly made his mark – Parker calls him “a visionary, self-styled revolutionary”. With properties covering the length and breadth of Saint Emilion, the man appreciates the nuance of terroir and strives to create wines with a sense of place. His revolutionary influence also extends to California, with World’s End in Napa.
Unlike Maltus’ many single vineyard wines, Laforge is sourced from three vineyard sites, each representative of a specific Saint Emilion terroir – sand, gravel and clay over limestone – to produce “a big, forceful, classic, full-bodied St.-Emilion”.
Maltus is perhaps best known as the man behind Le Dôme, a vin de garage capable of perfection. Indeed, the 2010 Le Dôme scored a perfect 100 points with Parker – and will cost you well over $300. Maltus takes the same quality-driven approach to his blends as he does his single vineyards – Laforge comes from highly concentrated, low-yielding fruit and is made in tiny quantities of no more than 2,000 cases a year. Considering also that the two were made under the same roof by the same team, our parcel of 2010 Laforge should be starting to look like the serious value buy that it is.
2010 in Bordeaux speaks for itself. Parker called it “one of the three greatest Bordeaux vintages” he has ever tasted. Wine Spectator awarded the vintage 98 points overall and commended the right bank in particular.
Starting to come into its own, 2010 Laforge 2010 will give pleasure for another 15 years easily. It’s not quite Le Dôme, but at this price, it doesn’t have to be. Don’t miss this one! Cheers!